We don’t really think about it, but we are touching doorknobs every day. We’ll grab the handles in our home, in public restrooms, in the freezer section at Costco, in our kids’ schools, and the list goes on. How many hands touch those doorknobs and handles each day? Too many. Unfortunately, you can’t control how often public spaces are cleaned, but you can still disinfect the doorknobs in your own home.
How to Keep Yourself Protected in Public Spaces
1. Use a Kooty Key
Mom always told us to “turn off the faucet with a paper towel” or, “open up the public restroom door with your wrist” to avoid getting germs on our freshly cleaned hands. This little gadget, called a Kooty Key, takes that piece of advice a step further. The Kooty Key will latch onto your key ring and keep you touch-free as you open doors or even press elevator buttons. It’s made from an antimicrobial plastic, so you don’t need to worry about those germs being transferred right into your pockets and purses.
2. Use a PhoneSoap Go
Our phones still get dirty, even if we’re careful about the things we touch and constantly wash our hands. The PhoneSoap Go can kill 99.99% of the germs and bacteria that are on your other essentials too, such as your keys, sunglasses, and credit cards. Are you always running around town? Stash the PhoneSoap Go in your car so you can easily sanitize your belongings while you drive from the office to the grocery store, or from the elementary school to the flag football carpool.
3. Keep Hand Sanitizer on Hand (See What We Did There?)
Stash a bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse, gym bag, backpack, or car console to use as soon as you touch something a bit grimy, like an ATM keypad or a grocery shopping cart. A quick squirt of hand sanitizer is also great to use if you’re about to eat a snack or change a diaper, and you don’t have access to a nearby sink. Our favorite is the DoTerra On Guard Sanitizing Mist, because it smells delicious (like a cinnamon apple), and can quickly mist your hands without the sticky-feeling of typical gel hand sanitizer.
What Types of Bacteria Are Found on Doorknobs?
Particularly in high-volume areas, hundreds (if not, thousands) of grimy hands will touch the same doorknobs and handles as you. Studies have found that strains of E. coli and Staphylococcus Aureus are the most common types of bacteria on doorknobs and handles of many public places such as offices, stores, and schools. If you touch those surfaces, you could easily spread the illness-causing bacteria by touching your face or not washing your hands when you get home. Remember to always wash your hands, or you (or a family member) could spend all next week in bed with the flu.
How to Disinfect Doorknobs
Especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to clean “high-touch” surfaces, which include doorknobs, at least once a day. Doing so will prevent the spread of illness around your home and to others.
The CDC recommends that doorknobs be cleaned with disinfecting wipes that are registered as EPA effective, such as Clorox or Lysol wipes. These wipes can reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses such as the flu and the Norovirus by 80-99%. Disinfectant wipes are a safe choice, because they will be disposed of after one use, rather than leaving bacteria to multiply in a cleaning rag before it gets washed.
Can You Use Homemade Disinfectant to Sanitize Metal Doorknobs?
Not all metal doorknobs are created equally. Some can easily be cleaned with any disinfectant, but others can be damaged by those same chemical agents. Materials such as solid brass or brass-plated iron, steel, or zinc should only be cleaned with warm water and gentle soap. How do you even know what type of metal is on your doors? A magnet won't stick to solid brass, so if it does, then the knobs are most likely just brass-coated, not pure brass.
For best results, just clean your doorknobs with disinfecting wipes or make a solution of soapy water to thoroughly kill the germs and bacteria on your doorknobs and prevent any damage to the metal coating.
It can seem tedious and redundant to be constantly disinfecting your home. However, it’s necessary so you and your family can stay healthy throughout this pandemic. Sanitizing your doorknobs and other handles in your home may seem unimportant, but it really can make all the difference in keeping a germ-free home.